James Borrego to Be Named Associate Head Coach of New Orleans Pelicans

James Borrego is reportedly headed to Louisiana…

The New Orleans Pelicans are hiring the 45-year-old Mexican American professional basketball coach as associate head coach, according to ESPN.

James BorregoBorrego, who was the head coach for the Charlotte Hornets from 2018 to 2022, turned down several other opportunities to be a top assistant to take the job with the Pelicans, sources said.

The Pelicans will also retain assistant coach Jarron Collins, who was head coach Willie Green‘s top assistant the past two seasons, sources said. Collins was one of the final candidates for the head-coaching vacancy for the Detroit Pistons.

New Orleans had an open position on the coaching staff after assistant Ryan Pannone left earlier this spring to take a spot on the Alabama men’s basketball coaching staff.

Borrego and Green, who just completed his second season as the Pelicans’ head coach, have history together. Borrego spent two seasons as an assistant coach in New Orleans, from 2010 to 2012, when the team was still known as the Hornets. Green played for New Orleans in the 2010-11 season.

Following his stint in New Orleans, Borrego went to Orlando, where he spent 2012 to 2015 as an assistant for the Magic. During the 2014-15 season, Borrego served as the interim head coach. That season was also Green’s only year playing for Orlando and his final season as a player.

The Pelicans are eager to incorporate Borrego’s offensive philosophy into a lineup that will feature Zion WilliamsonBrandon Ingram and CJ McCollum next season. While injuries played a major part, the Pelicans finished 20th in offensive rating last season and were second to last in 3-pointers attempted per game.

During his final season in Charlotte, Borrego’s Hornets were sixth in the league in 3s attempted, eighth in offensive rating and fifth in the league in pace.

Borrego led the Hornets to a 43-39 record in 2021-22 and back-to-back trips to the play-in tournament but was let go in April 2022.

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